Tom Cotton: Kabul Evacuation Raises Specter of Iran Hostage Crisis Sen. Tom Cotton , R-Ark. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
By Fran Beyer | Sunday, 22 August 2021 01:24 PM
Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., on Sunday said the evacuation of Americans from Afghanistan in the wake of the Taliban takeover raises the frightening specter of the hostage crisis in Tehran in 1979.
In an interview on Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures,” Cotton said “in effect, the Americans are hostages of the Taliban.”
“They may not be under lock and key in a jail but if the Taliban control all of the airports once we leave, and they control all of the border crossings, then we are going to be a hostage to fortune — to the Taliban's good will to the Americans,” Cotton warned.
“There's been a lot of comparisons in the past week to Saigon 1975,” Cotton said, referencing the disastrous evacuation of the U.S, embassy in Vietnam at that war’s end.
“I would say this is much worse,” he said of the chaotic withdrawal of U.S. troops in Afghanistan.
“But the scenario that troubles me going forward if the Tehran of 1979 — 52 Americans hostages and paralyzed America for more than a year,” he said.
“We have 10,000 to 15,000 Americans who are in effect hostages to the Taliban right now,” he asserted. “Joe Biden needs to make it clear to the Taliban that we are not leaving until everyone is gone and if they’re injured, we may do exactly what we did in 2001.”
According to Cotton, the future relationship of the United States to the Taliban hangs in the balance.
“If [President] Joe Biden won't commit to getting every American out… that will only empower the Taliban to provide safe haven to organizations like al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups,” he maintained.
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